Last Christmas, my mother gave my brother a bag of - I'm not making this up - gummi lobsters, which she found on a business trip to Boston. I freaked out, because, come on, gummi lobsters! But alas, there were no sugary crustaceans in my stocking. I was visibly upset by this trivial omission.
Fast forward twelve months. On Christmas morning 2009. I unwrapped seven ounces of gummi lobsters. To accommodate my year-old thirst for gooey red arthropods, Mom had paid more for shipping than the candy itself cost. Moreover, she upped the ante by also leaving a package of gummi penguins and 1.9 pounds of Swedish fish under the tree. Inspired by her example, my brother and his lady friend gave me gummi centipedes, imported from Hungary. Who knew? Clearly the work of the finest Magyar gummi artisans.
It doesn't end there, though. In 2004, I drove to Colorado with my mother and grandmother to see my aunt and uncle. At some point, my mother found a bag of elk jerky. Then - then - she hid the elk jerky for SIX MONTHS so I could open it up on Christmas morning.
And that's how I know my mommy loves me. Happy birthday, Mom!